1975 - John Lennon released his cover of "Stand By Me." This is off the Rock 'n' Roll album, the product of an out-of-court settlement between John Lennon and an aggrieved publisher. John Lennon was sued for stealing the guitar riff and the line "Here comes old flat-top" from Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me." The lawsuit did not come from Berry, but from Morris Levy, who owned the song along with thousands of other early rock songs.
In an attempt to avoid the court room as much as he could, he settled with Levy. Lennon agreed to record his Rock N Roll album, which was just a series of cover songs, including three songs Levy owned (including "You Can't Catch Me") on the tracklist.
1981 - Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes begin rehearsals with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. They were going to call themselves "XYZ", and in eX-members of Yes and Zeppelin. Plant did attend one XYZ rehearsal, but decided not to join the group citing his dislike for the complexity of the music, and because he was still deeply hurt by the recent death of his long-time friend Led Zeppelin's drummer, John Bonham.
It doesn't lead anywhere, and Yes gets back together to release their 1983 album 90125.
1988 - Legendary Motown songwriters Holland/Dozier/Holland were inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. The trio wrote, arranged and produced many songs that helped define the Motown sound in the 1960s. The laundry list of Holland-Dozier-Holland hits seems endless; they include "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Standing in the Shadows of Love," "This Old Heart of Mine," "Nowhere to Run," "I'm a Road Runner," and many others. They produced gems for the Supremes, Junior Walker & the All-Stars, the Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, the Isley Brothers, and the Elgins until they left in 1968.(Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
2012 - America's Oldest Living Teenager, American Bandstand host Dick Clark died of a heart attack at age 82. Many artists got a huge boost after appearing on Bandstand, which Clark hosted from 1956 to 1989.
The clean-cut production values of American Bandstand, supported by Clark's own persona, made rock & roll (not to mention racially integrated dancing) seem less threatening to many adults, and provided significant national exposure for countless artists. On the other hand, Clark -- surprisingly, never a tremendous rock & roll fan himself -- also helped tame the wildness of early rock & roll by favoring more straight pop and teen idol fare, sending the music into a doldrums only salvaged by the British Invasion. In the long run, though, Clark's contributions far outweighed that aesthetic sin, and both he and American Bandstand became American institutions.
Dick Clark was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame, in 1993.
2015 - Green Day was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of the 2015 class, in their first year of eligibility. In his acceptance speech, Billie Joe Armstrong said he became a rock fan as “soon as I opened my eyes and took my first breath”.
Blues musician Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was born today in 1924.
Skip Spence, Jefferson airplane, Moby Grape, was born on this day in 1946.
Les Pattinson, co-songwriter and bassist for Echo and the Bunnymen, is 64.
Mark 'Bez' Berry, of Happy Mondays, is 58.
Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from Allmusic, Rolling Stone, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.